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Dane County Chapter – Adopt a Trail for a Day, Invasives Removal
May 15 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Just like WisDOT needs help in keeping help in keeping the areas beautiful around its highway, we can use your help in eliminating the many invasive spring plants. If you are into social distancing and can identify plants, this activity is for you.
Over the coming 2 weeks, about a dozen activists will do their annual battle with garlic mustard, dame’s rocket, wild parsnip, Japanese hedge parsley, and young buckthorn and honeysuckle. We would welcome your help.
In some areas of the trail, we spray plants after they have bolted, had a big growth spurt. In others, we simply pull the plants. As you are out getting your Vitamin D and forest bathing, you may see any of these plants and be inclined to help.
Materials needed: if sensitive to plant oils or near nettles/thorns, your hands will appreciate a pair of leather gloves. If staying out more than 2 hours, you may want a snack or drink along with you or in your car. If choosing to work on berry canes, you’ll want a pair of garden nippers.
How to treat garlic mustard or dame’s rocket now: Plants may be 2 inches to 14 inches in height, with or without blossoms. If no flowers are present, pull the plant and twist it or pull it in half before tossing on the ground in a place that doesn’t cover another desired plant. If flowers are present, pull the plant, remove all of the flowers, then twist it or pull it in half before tossing on the ground in a place that doesn’t cover another desired plant. If the horns have started to grow, then it will need to be collected in a bucket or bag and carried out.
Where to go to help: Even if the sprayers have been out, a week later new plants will likely begin to grow up to take their place. Ignore those that are drooping and pull the new growth. If there’s no sign of drooping plants, feel free to work any area that is within 20 feet of either side of the trail.
What if 5 or more cars are present: Perhaps this isn’t the day to help out in this location. The Badger State Trail in Montrose Segment, Sugar River Trail in Albany Segment, and Badger State Trail to Sugar River Trail in Monticello Segment may provide a less traveled area and are places we likely never make it to.
Why do we do this work? Because after a few years of effort we can bring back native wildflowers such as wild geraniums, wood violets, blue cohash, trillium, spring beauties or more.
Keep track of your hours so we can send you a form to begin collecting hours towards National Park Service awards. Also let the Organizer know where you’ve been and where. If you want to consult, the location may be where you will find her.